The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Cara Heppell. Cara started coming to St Mary's 13 years ago. She is a 3rd year medical student with a moderate addiction to running. She works part time at HSSC so hit her up for 20% off botox.

Luke 8:26-39

Jesus restores a demon-possessed man
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[a] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!' 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?'

‘Legion,' he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.' So the man went away and told all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.


There are four things that stand out to me when I read this passage. 1. The demons in the demon-possessed man immediately recognised Jesus. All it took was to see Jesus for them to know exactly who he was: ‘Son of the Most High God'. 2. The people's reaction was to keep him ‘chained hand and foot and kept under guard', whereas Jesus's reaction was to set him free. The people acted out of fear; Jesus acted out of love. Jesus often taught the importance of showing love to all; when asked what the greatest commandment was he replied ‘"love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul and with all your mind . . . [and] love your neighbour as yourself"' (Matthew 22:37). This passage shows the impact this decision makes in people's lives. Showing people love is freeing, empowering and life changing. 3. The people responded to Jesus's actions with fear and ‘asked Jesus to leave them'. Being afraid is a natural response in the presence of so much power, but the people of Gerasenes missed the point.
Blinded by a fear of this immense display of power, they didn't see how Jesus had used it; they didn't see the character of Jesus in all its goodness. Sometimes coming into the presence of Jesus is overwhelming, particularly when a lot is going on in our lives, and it is always important to reaffirm who Jesus is and what he wants for us (only good things). 4. The man who had been set free wanted to join Jesus, but Jesus told him to ‘"return home and tell how much God has done for you"'. Often after miracles, Jesus would instruct those he had healed to spread the word of what he had done. In doing so, more people would hear about the kingdom of heaven and Jesus's outreach would be wider. He wanted as many people as possible to be a part of the kingdom and that is still true today. We should always be looking for ways to spread the love, joy and peace of Jesus and tell more people about his kingdom.

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